“When you’re in the middle of writing and recording, it’s very easy to fall into extreme feelings of guilt over procrastination, when you’re already stretched thin,” says Alicia Gaines, bassist and vocalist of Chicago “Post-Punk” band “Ganser,” and that feeling is immensely conveyed on their new single “Bad Form.” It’s a sentiment we can all relate to. The feeling that we’re just going through the motions, the feeling that we should be doing more, the feeling that nothing we do is ever enough, it’s an unfair pressure we put on ourselves, and that can lead to unbearable anxiety. “Ganser” are no strangers to the evocation of anxiety. The band have been creating noisey “Post-Punk” with a sprinkle of “Goth” for awhile now, and following last year’s debut album Odd Talk, it was clear that the band are without a doubt one of the most ambitious bands in Rock right now. Much of their music is loud, anxiety-inducing but not too abrasive to the point of being unlistenable, and their attention to crafting chaotic and unconventional instrumentation topped with poetic lyrical content that looks both outward and inward is vastly enthralling. Each member is pivotal to the band’s sound, they’re all pieces to a puzzle that just wouldn’t be complete if a member were absent. It’s easy to list what genres the band might draw influence from, but categorizing them wouldn’t suffice when describing the myriad of emotions and styles in their music.
So what does their new single “Bad Form” sound like? Well, it sounds like a “Ganser” song, but it’s most definitely next level and completely stands on it’s own. Charlie Landsman’s guitar evokes a frantic feeling that ear-splittingly gives you a sense of urgency, Alicia Gaines’ pummeling bass hits you with a sinister groove, Brian Cundiff’s drums are sharp and piercing, and Nadia Garofalo’s vocals passionately echo the nervous nature of the instrumentation with a sense of catharsis that beautifully expresses the importance of self-therapy when confronting inner demons. “Too many people want too much attention,” sings Garofalo, as if she’s realizing the feeling of getting lost in other people’s needs or trying to balance friendships and relationships with work is taking it’s toll, and the refrain of “I know how it works” can be interpreted as the feeling of unsatisfying repetition or predictability. Sure this song deals with the darker side of the human psyche, but it features positive undertones as the band exorcises their demons together.
“Bad Form” also has a beautifully shot music video directed by Kirsten Miccoli to accompany it. It stars Ganser, Monica Bahr, Liz Harvey, and Benji Morino, and it’s visually stunning with a dark nature that perfectly reflects the track’s sense of agitation and anxiety. The band make it known that visual art is just as important to them as music. Just look at how mindfully crafted their past music videos are with much attention to artistry and cinematography as opposed to just making a video of the band playing their instruments in an empty warehouse (we saw plenty of those videos in the 90’s.) The band want to utilize different aspects of art to express themselves, and that ambition is inspiring. It’s exciting to see where they’ll go next.
Written By: Steven Sandoval